From the hardest rock routes to the smallest crimps, they don’t come much more focused than Alex Megos. He stepped into the spotlight of the international climbing world when—at the age of 19—he was the first to onsight a route graded 9a: the Estado Crítico in Siurana, Spain. Since then, Alex’s love of tough indoor training on small wooden holds has led him to success on the finest rock crags around the globe. He’s gone down countless difficult routes, most of them in impressively short times and after just a few attempts. Alex also enjoys taking part in competitions from time to time, recently taking third place at the World Championships (lead climbing).
What’s been your biggest achievement in life? Or last week?
My biggest achievement in life is—to be able to live my life as a climber! My biggest achievement as a climber is the first ascent of Perfecto Mundo, the world’s 4th 9b+ route. I had never put so much effort into a route before. Passion, dedication and focus—I needed it all, but it was worth it.
What drives you to keep on getting out there time after time, to do more, to experience more?
I just love what I do. Climbing means almost everything to me. It makes it possible to combine sports, nature, physics, mind, travelling, competition—with myself or other climbers. I can define my own goals, focus on them, go for it, push my limits. There are so many things to see, places to visit and inspiring lines to find (and send). These are enough reasons to experience more, I guess.
Why do you use GORE-TEX gear?
GORE-TEX products allow me to do more of what I love to do while worrying less. I actually don’t want to think much about my equipment. It has its job to do, I have mine. I want to focus on climbing. The rope has to stop my fall. The chalk dries my fingers. The backpack holds my gear. The jacket keeps me dry and warm. The boots protect me when approaching a crag. If everything works as it should, that’s what matters.
In 10 words or less, what would you say you’re “made for...?
Crimping small holds. Sending hard routes. And maybe inspiring young people to climb and set personal goals no matter how hard they climb (sorry, that’s more than 10 words!).
Every climb, I only bring the essentials. My GORE-TEX jacket always makes the cut. It weighs next to nothing and takes up no space in my pack. More times than I can count, I’ve been relieved I have it with me when it starts to rain or the wind picks up. Even if the rocks are wet and slippery, I stay dry. I can rest in cold wind and still feel warm. I’m comfortable in uncomfortable conditions.
- Holds highpoint of Black Diamond Project in Stockholm, the world’s hardest indoor route.
- Silver in Lead Finals at IFSC Climbing World Cup in Kranj, Slovenia.
- Silver at European Bouldering Championship in Munich, Germany.
- First ascent of Fight Club in Banff, Canada’s most difficult climbing route.
- First person to climb a route of 9a difficulty onsight, the Estado Crítico in Siurana, Spain.